How To Cook Ribbon Fish?

How To Cook Ribbon Fish?

If you’ve never cooked ribbon fish, consider yourself in good company! While it’s not an exotic fish by any means, cooking this flat, wide filefish can be tricky if you don’t know the right technique. Follow these simple steps to ensure your ribbon fish dinner comes out perfectly and impresses all your dinner guests. The important thing to remember is to cook the fish relatively quickly at high heat or else it’ll take on an unpleasant mushy texture that isn’t appetizing.

What is ribbon fish?

Ribbon Fish is a type of saltwater fish that is prized for its firm texture and delicate flavor. You can prepare it in many different ways, but one of the most popular methods is frying it. The first step in cooking Ribbon Fish is cutting the filet into fillets and pounding them until they are an even thickness. The next step is seasoning the fillets with salt and pepper before dipping them in milk or beaten eggs. You then dredge them through some seasoned flour before deep frying them for about two minutes per side. Once you take your Ribbon Fish out of the fryer, you place it on a paper towel so any excess oil will drip off while you prepare your sauce.

How To Make Ribbon Fish Recipe?

  • Rinse the ribbonfish in cold water and pat dry with paper towels. 
  • In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and green onions. Stir until well mixed and then set aside. Heat enough oil for deep frying in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Cook the fish for about 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown and crisp on the outside but still tender inside, turning once or twice with tongs if needed to ensure even cooking time-ribbonfish cooks quickly because it is so thin. Remove from skillet with a slotted spatula onto paper towels to drain any excess oil. 
  • While still warm, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and serve hot with dipping sauce. For best results, prepare this dish within an hour of cooking time. Prep Time: 10 mins Servings: 
  • Add the sugar and cornstarch to the sauce and mix well. Add some water (1/4 cup) at a time to get desired consistency, stirring continuously. Taste test (add more sugar, salt or soy sauce as necessary). 5. Bring the sauce back up to a boil over high heat while stirring constantly; let simmer for one minute without stirring before removing from stovetop burner. 
  • Pour into serving dishes, preferably bowls that can be used as dipping bowls too! 
  • Serve hot immediately with fresh cut cucumbers and red pepper slices alongside rice on plates for dipping. Dip and enjoy! Tip!: Ribbonfish has a delicate texture when cooked, making it perfect for sauces and marinades, but also softens easily when fried too much or undercooked. It’s best to fry it for about 3 minutes on each sides only.

What Are The Main Ingredients Of The Ribbon Fish Recipe?

The main ingredients for a recipe for Ribbon Fish are: –

  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt, 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 3 tablespoons butter or margarine. To make the dish you will need: 
  • 2 pounds of fresh (not frozen) bluefish fillets that have been trimmed of any skin or bones and cut into 16 pieces each; 4 cloves garlic; 4 tablespoons finely chopped onion; 2 cups all-purpose flour. 1 cup buttermilk. 
  • 1 egg white beaten with 2 tablespoons water. 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil. 

In a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat and add the garlic and onions until they’re tender but not browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the salt, black pepper, paprika, thyme leaves, and cayenne pepper; stir for about 30 seconds more until fragrant. Remove from heat. Sprinkle one side of the fish with half the seasoning mixture and place seasoned side down on a large platter lined with wax paper. Sprinkle the other side with remaining seasonings. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat, stirring constantly so it doesn’t burn. Whisk in 1 cup all-purpose flour, blending well to form a roux. Cook roux over low heat for about 10 minutes or until light golden brown and smooth while stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in two cups whole milk until smooth and then whisk in one cup buttermilk, blending well again as some lumps may remain at this point.

Some Tips To Make Ribbon Fish Recipe

  • Wash and pat the fish dry. Score the skin by making shallow diagonal cuts on both sides of the spine with a sharp knife. 
  • Coat the scored skin with half of the lime juice and set aside for 5 minutes, then pat dry again. 
  • Place a large skillet over high heat and add 1 tablespoon oil when hot, then swirl it around so it coats the bottom evenly. 
  • Once smoking hot (a drop of water should sizzle), lay in one piece of fish skin-side down and fry for 1 minute before flipping over and frying for another minute until cooked through but still moist in the middle .
  • Remove from pan onto paper towel-lined plate, season with salt while still hot, then repeat with remaining pieces of fish 
  • Pour off any excess oil from the pan and return to stovetop over medium heat. 
  • Add the butter, tomato paste, garlic powder and onion powder
  • Mix well and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. 
  • Add the cornflour mixture, stirring constantly 
  • Let simmer for another 5 minutes or until sauce has thickened slightly. 
  • Taste test; adjust seasoning with salt if needed 
  • Return all the fried fish fillets back into the sauce 
  • Sprinkle parsley leaves on top and serve over steamed rice.

What Are Some Recipes That Include Ribbon Fish?

Ribbon fish is a type of salt water fish that can be used in a variety of dishes. Here are a few recipes for you to try at home: 

Sautéed Ribbon Fish with Vermicelli and Tomatoes

Frying the tomatoes in oil before adding the vermicelli, onions, garlic, salt, pepper and bay leaves allows them to soften and release their juices. 

Fried Ribbon Fish Steak

To make this dish crispy fry the steaks in vegetable oil until they’re golden brown on both sides. 

Ribbon Fish Soup

Add some onion powder and curry powder while cooking the rice before adding coconut milk and water or broth. Top off with some fresh cilantro when finished. Pan-Fried Ribbon Fish – Coat your ribbons in egg wash before frying in an oiled pan until golden brown and crisp. 

Ribbon Fish Poke Bowls

Serve over warm white rice with black beans, avocado, red cabbage slaw and pickled carrots!

Baja Style Fish Tacos

Serve between corn tortillas stuffed with purple cabbage slaw, radishes and jalapeno peppers! Make sure to use soft corn tortillas so they don’t break easily.


Ribbonfish is a versatile, mild whitefish that can be used in many ways. To prepare the fish for cooking, simply remove the skin and the head by cutting around them with a sharp knife. Ribbonfish can be cooked on its own or mixed with other ingredients. You can grill it on a barbecue or bake it in the oven. Ribbonfish is also delicious when cooked in a skillet with butter, lemon and garlic. When cooking ribbonfish, make sure not to overcook it as this will cause it to become dry and tough. For an easy way to enjoy cooking this dish, try one of our recipes for Grilled Ribbon Fish with Lemon-Garlic Butter Sauce or Baked Ribbon Fish Fillets With Dill Sauce. Read more for these type of blogs.